The first major reviews for John Crowley's The Goldfinch are in. The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend and has been getting heavily blasted by critics. Some are even hailing it as one of the worst movies of 2019 and it hasn't even been widely released. The Goldfinch is based on Donna Tartt's 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name, so there was already going to be some pressure to live up to a critically acclaimed book. Making a movie based on a famous book is not an easy thing to pull off for anybody.
The Goldfinch, which stars Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, and Finn Wolfhard, has been labeled "disappointing," "bland," and "a gigantic waste of time," by more than one critic. Not even the cast was able to elevate the source material as another critic calls the movie "lifeless" and quite possibly even the worst movie of the year. This does not bode well for The Goldfinch at the box office, but it is sure to gather the attention of moviegoers who are intrigued by negative reviews.
Another review for The Goldfinch declares that it's a "cold, heartless, sterile look at survivor's guilt in the face of senseless tragedy." Critics are definitely not holding back on their opinions on the movie. Indiewire gave the movie a D+, while Collider was less generous and just settled on an F. With that being said, there have been some good reviews too, they just don't have the numbers of the negative reviews. In general, it sounds like people who have not read Donna Tartt's novel will be just fine with what they see on the big screen.
The Goldfinch director John Crowley tried to go for a universal approach while making his adaptations. He says, "For those who've read the book, they can relish the way in which we've brought the book to life," which is definitely the hard part. As for people who haven't read the book, Crowley says, "I want them to be able to experience the film completely as a piece on completely on its own terms." Crowley's ultimate goal for The Goldfinch is to have the movie translate to the two different types of audience members.
The Goldfinch hits theaters on September 13th. It's going to be interesting to see the wide response when the movie hits theaters later this week. While negative reviews will often turn potential moviegoers off, it sometimes has the exact opposite effect and will bring in some more curiosity. With that being said, there are plenty of people who did not enjoy the movie at all and are strongly warning people to stay away. If you're still on the fence about checking it out, you can head over to Warner Bros. for tickets and showing times for The Goldfinch.